As this year draws to a close, once again I will be completing my reading of the entire Bible. Yes, from Genesis to Revelation. Who said ‘whoop-dee-doo for you’? I heard someone in the back row of the ‘peanut gallery’! After all, I am a pastor and those types should be reading their Bibles… and not bragging about it. Right? Trust me, I am not tooting-my-own-horn. Not in the least.
This will be my 25th reading of the Bible from cover-to-cover, and none for sermon preparation. This is my time with the Lord. Sitting at His feet and hearing from Him. I’m so glad I started this discipline in my devotional life. I must admit something to you. I’ve been a Christian for over 50 years, and read God’s Word for only half of those. Just a tad less than half. Suddenly you can see why I’m not bragging. In addition, I’ve been an ordained pastor for over 40 years now. The numbers belie the fact that for many years the Bible was not a passion of my soul, not a high priority over-and-above my church work schedule and responsibilities.
I was so busy. I had too much on my plate…for the Lord?! Really? To be honest, my spiritual life was as dry as cold toast. I don’t know if others could tell. But I knew.
What could I do? I’ve wasted so much time already. Way too much. How about you? Maybe you’re thinking about spending more time in the Bible, especially with a new year coming with resolutions to be made and kept. Start now. Don’t wait for the new year. You might even start by reading a chapter a day in the Gospel of John. In three weeks you’ll have read all twenty one chapters and ready to move on to more Bible reading, every day, whether you feel like it or not, time permitting or not.
Maybe you’re wondering why I had you read from Isaiah 42. I’ll tell you. Focus in on verse 23. My translation(ESV) says ‘…will attend and listen for the time to come.’ The original Hebrew reads ‘from now on’. As I thought about this verse I could hear our Lord say gently to me, ‘don’t worry about what you didn’t do. Start now…begin afresh…from now on.’ Today is a new day. The right one to spend with the Lord who gave His Son as a Christmas gift to all, with the gift of forgiveness, renewal and eternal life. Get close to Him. You’ll never regret it. ‘From now on…’!
Prayer: Dear Lord, and you are dear and precious to me. I love you and can’t wait to spend time with you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.